Another day, another batch of rumours concerning the next generation of hardware from Sony and Microsoft. We’ve already told you, in a bit of an incoherent, technically deficient way that the next PlayStation is set to have more raw computational power than the next Xbox – but now we take a closer look at what might be inside the Xbox Next, next-box, Durango or Xbox 720 if you will.
The information comes courtesy of VGLeaks. I have an innate tendency to regard any site that starts with “VG” with a healthy dose of scepticism, but everything in seems to parallel and back up information we’ve seen elsewhere.
According to this latest information the new Xbox boasts an eight-core Jaguar-based x64 APU from AMD running at 1.6GHz. that’s essentially the exact same processing hardware as the rumoured specs for the next PlayStation – just with a slightly lower clock speed. It’ll also have a dedicated GPU; a custom, AMD-Graphics Core Next powered DirectX 11 chipset clocked at 800 Mhz with 12 shader cores, to the PS4’s rumoured 18 cores. That makes it a multi-purpose GPGPU, probably based on the Radeon 7000 series.
The difference between the PS4 and the third Xbox, as rumours have previously suggested, is in the memory configuration. The report claims Durango has 8GB of DDR3 and 32MB of ESRAM, the two of which are able to work in synergy to produce throughput of 170GB/s. The super-fast ESRAM is able to be accessed by components other than just the GPU, giving the hardware some flexibility as it ages.
In addition to that, the next-box will feature a number of dedicated hardware accelerators for video and audio encoding and decoding, suggesting that Microsoft will continue to push the platform as an all-around media entertainment system. Kinect, it seems, will ship with the system but won’t be built right in; which is probably a good thing because it makes placement of the sensor unit a little easier. The report says the console will have a “High-fidelity Natural User Interface,” which will probably hinge on the next generation of Kinect – and might bring your dreams of operating an interface Minority Report style a little closer.
Durango will be USB 3.0 compatible, and ship with a 500GB hard-drive as minimum. It’ll also sport a 6x Blu-ray drive.
So, another report seems to back up claims that the PS4 will be a fair bit more powerful, but it’ll be balanced by the next Xbox’s larger and more efficient memory pool – and once again there will be fights over the internet about which is better when in the end they’ll pretty much be the same thing.